Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Home detention for defrauding disability trust

27 March 2018

Auckland man Saul Roberts receives home detention for defrauding disability trust

The former asset manager of a tax-payer funded disability trust has been sentenced to eight months of home detention and ordered to pay reparations of $164,929 for charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Saul Brendon Roberts was sentenced today in the Auckland High Court. He had pleaded guilty earlier to all five charges he faced under section four of the Secret Commissions Act in relation to his work at Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust and the charitable trust Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority.

Mr Roberts was the former asset manager of Te Roopu and former trustee and employee of Te Kawerau.

While he was employed by Te Roopu from 2012 to 2014, Mr Roberts received about $160,000 in kickbacks from various suppliers to the disability trust, including auto repairs workshops owned by his co-defendant, Atish Narayan. At no stage did Mr Roberts tell anyone at the trust that the suppliers were paying him cash to obtain the trust’s business.

In total, suppliers to Te Roopu paid kickbacks to Mr Roberts to secure about $1.5 million of the trust’s business. The trust is a public health care provider for people with intellectual disabilities, and has received funding from the Ministry of Health and other government agencies.

Mr Roberts had also received about $45,000 in kickbacks in 2009 for withdrawing public submissions he lodged on behalf of Te Kawerau, which was set up to settle treaty claims, in opposition to a proposed change to a district plan. The company that made the payment was unaware Mr Roberts was acting without the knowledge and consent of his employer.

Saul Robert’s co-defendant, Atish Narayan, pleaded guilty to two charges under section three of the Secret Commissions Act, and one Crimes Act charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’ in August 2017. Mr Narayan owned two auto repair businesses which provided services to Te Roopu. Mr Narayan made undisclosed payments to Mr Roberts, in return for Mr Roberts arranging for vehicles owned by Te Roopu to be serviced or repaired at his businesses.

Mr Narayan was sentenced to six months’ home detention and ordered to pay $14,000 in reparation in October 2017.

SFO Director, Julie Read said, “Mr Roberts illegally exploited his employment positions for personal financial gain. This type of corruption undermines these kinds of trusts which is a matter of public concern. The role of the SFO is to prosecute such matters on behalf of New Zealanders in order to keep organisations free from fraud and corruption.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

The report found that one in five children under the age of 15 - amounting to between 161,000 and 188,000 children - experience moderate-to-severe food insecurity, meaning they can’t count on having regular nutritious meals. More>>


Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>


Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>


Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Pope Of Parliament

’Tis the season of goodwill towards all humankind… except it would seem, towards the Speaker of Parliament... More>>


Abortion: Hundreds March To Call For Decriminalisation

About 300 protesters marched to Parliament this afternoon calling on MPs to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion. A recent report by the Law Commission to the government recommended removing it from the Crimes Act. More>>


Secondary Negotiations: PPTA Rejects 'Another Inadequate Offer'

Hard on the heels of an overwhelming rejection of the government’s second offer, the union’s representatives did not believe that the latest offer was good enough to take out to members... More>>


eGates And Social Security: PM Meets With Korean President Moon Jae-In

Our shared values and challenges, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the opportunity to do more together were features of the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in today in Auckland. More>>





InfoPages News Channels